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Control signal lost issue

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by pjw73nh, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. pjw73nh

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    I've had my P2V+ since June and had 8 flights in Phantom mode. Taking my time learning the quad to avoid a costly loss.

    I recently did the foil mod very carefully on my P2V+. It increased the amount of sats I get in my yard from about 6-7 to 10-11 depending on the time of day. It also decreased sat aquisition time significantly. I use satpredictor.

    I apologize for not having conclusive data, but with only 8 flights thus far, I am still getting used to the bird.

    On my last 2 flights, (after the foil mod, and after switching to using my iPad instead of iPhone on the controller), while directly overhead, (no horizontal distance) anywhere from 400 to 900 feet in altitude, I seemed to get (I am pretty sure it said) "control signal lost". I am not sure if it happened while taking pictures, or just while I was flying without shooting. The message only lasts for a 2-4 seconds and then goes away. In all cases I was able to keep control and descend normally. It never went into failsafe mode.

    When it would happen, I would try and tip the controller up to point the antenna directly toward the P2V+ to see if made any difference. The quad was always in line of sight. As I mentioned I did not go any horizontal distance from home point at this time. As it only lasts for a couple of seconds, it's hard to tell if re-pointing the antenna had any affect on the issue.


    As mentioned above there are 3 variables here.
    1. New location for taking off (my front yard, very rural).
    2. Foil mod.
    3. Ipad mounted on controller instead of iPhone perhaps altering signal from controller? (Even with unobstructed line of sight at 500 ft?)

    I do not remember this happening on any of my previous 6 flights prior to the variables above. But I also had issues with the camera setting so I may not have been actively taking pictures as often on those previous flights either.

    Any thoughts comments or suggestions welcome.

    Thanks
     
  2. N017RW

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    Flying directly overhead esp. at great distance is not recommended.
    Yes the orientation of the Tx antenna to the aircraft is important and you sound like you're operating on the 'edge'.
    Without getting to technical right now the signals radiate from the sides of the Tx antenna and little to none from the tip.

    Same with the reception on the aircraft, side cross section not end of wire. So keeping both antenna sets (Tx - Rx) parallel is important.

    Hope you understand.

    Retry with lateral distance and you should see improvement.
     
  3. cahutch

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    Don't point the tip of the TX antenna at the craft. The signal radiates from the Side of the antenna, you want the antenna perpendicular to the craft.
    So if it's directly above you, the best antenna orientation is horizontal.
    If it's directly in front of you, the best antenna orientation is vertical.

    If the iPad is between the TX antenna and the craft directly above, it will significantly degrade the signal. Make sure that an imaginary pilot on the phantom could see the antenna. If you can't see it, it's blocked.

    But directly overhead is not a good place to be for best range. You could probably maintain good control and much higher altitude if you had just a 100 yards of horizontal distance.

    I have to ask though. Why do you want to go that high? It's not very safe and I can't see any reason other than just pushing the limits. I've never been above 350ft which was just to maintain line of sight while I was 1500ft away.
     
  4. pjw73nh

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    Hi Cahutch, and thanks for the reply.

    Why do I want to go that high? Well, actually, I didn't think 500 feet was that high. Yeah, the 900 range is up there, but I was only there for a short period because of the loos of signal issue.

    I wanted to get some good aerial shots of my neighborhood. Seeing as how I am new to the quad, until I get used to how it handles/flies I don't want to venture too far out. I have flown it as far as 500-600 feet out at low altitude in some open fields to practice and develop good piloting skills.

    I also need to get used to and ingrain in my head how to react if I DO have a "loss of control" issue. There is so much to learn about the quad, that I have to take it one step at a time.

    I just recently read a "flyaway" thread here, that is urging me to change over to Naza mode from Phantom mode. I need to read up on that and "re-learn" the modes, and switch functions.
     
  5. cahutch

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    I've taken some pretty great views of my area from only 200ft up, but thinking about it I realize that I'm already on top of a hill so I have an altitude advantage from the start.
    I'm sure it'd be totally different if I was in an urban neighborhood.

    I worry about exceeding 400 ft since I'm about 5 miles from an airport and we get flights overhead frequently, including helicopters that might be fairly low.

    I take it you're trying to stay above your yard to avoid it coming down in a neighbor's yard?
     
  6. pjw73nh

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    No not really, my neighbors are pretty distant, and we're all good friends. I am just really concerned about losing it. I want to gain a lot more piloting skill and knowledge before venturing. Mostly I need to know (AUTOMATICALLY, as in SECOND NATURE) how to react to loss of control issue (not necessarily a loss of signal), just if it happens to get a mind of it's own, I want to be able to react accordingly and bring it down safely.
     
  7. cahutch

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    If you're really concerned about losing it, I'd keep it down to below 200ft where you can still see it clearly and maintain orientation.
    Wind speeds at higher altitudes can be very high even if they are calm on the ground. In GPS mode the Phantom can only fly at around 35MPH, so if the wind at 900ft is higher than that, she won't be able to hold position.
     
  8. pjw73nh

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    Very good point. Never considered that. Thanks.
     
  9. cahutch

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    I've seen videos of people losing their Phantom and other quads by flying them too high. In one case, they were in GPS mode at around 1500ft and the wind was very strong. It was fighting the wind trying to hold position but it needed full throttle to do it. When the pilot tried to descend, it wouldn't come down because the GPS position hold was keeping the throttle full speed.
    Eventually the battery died and it fell 1000ft into a wooded area where he lost it. He recovered the remains weeks later when someone else found it and called.

    What he should have done in that case was switch to Atti mode and let the wind take it while descending as fast as possible. It might have drifted out of range by the time he lost enough altitude but that's about all you can do to descend under that condition.
     
  10. flyNfrank

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  11. Mako79

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    Do a field test for me..
    I want to do it this weekend but we have forecasted rain :(

    Get a Phillips head that will fit in the CE/FCC pot knob on the back of the transmitter below the 7th channel.
    Don't make changes yet.
    Do your preflight check and make sure the transmitter beeps twice to acknowledge FCC mode and make Home point is established.
    Don't move your antenna. Fly till you get a "CONTROL SIGNAL LOST" and this will trigger Return to home. Make note of the distance.

    Now use the Phillips head and turn the FCC pot to the right (clockwise). Be gentle.
    Fly again and see if you got further.

    There is a possibility that the pot can set gains. I went from 300m to 600m (but I was at 2 different locations, and I need to do a control test).
     
  12. karmakazi

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread but it is along the same issue I am curious about. While I was flying today I had the "CONTROL SIGNAL LOST" message and it triggered the return to home function. Is there a way to over ride that once the Phantom is back in the line of sight?
     
  13. cahutch

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    Yep. When it's closer and you want to take over again, just flip the S1 switch to Atti and then back to GPS.
     
  14. karmakazi

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    Thanks cahutch, I tried reading my PDF of the manual but for some reason everything is garbled. Plus my eyes are so bad any more the hard copy I have is printed too small, even while wearing my cheaters.
     
  15. cahutch

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    Yeah, I know the feeling. I need to get BiFocal sunglasses so I can see the Phantom and the FPV screen when I'm flying.
     
  16. pjw73nh

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    Is this in BOTH Phantom AND NAZA mode?

    Tnx.
     
  17. Panamon Creel

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    Yes!
     
  18. slothead

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    I had a similar problem and as I assessed the configuration it became obvious to me that my "big" iPad (iPad Mini compared to an iPhone) made a pretty good block between the transmitting antenna and the Phantom. I'm not sure, but I concluded that I should keep from covering up the TX antenna with the iPad when in flight.
     
  19. quart

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    I have changed mine to fcc mode by turning the knob.
    It now beeps twice when turning on.
    But I cant find anything in the dji software to change it to fcc mode.
    Can someone please guide me ?
     
  20. N017RW

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    Just a guess...

    Its in the RC assist. s/w (not the Phantom-2 assist. s/w.)